|Celebrating one’s existence on Earth is not by chronological years, but by what the person has been able to do to impact the lives of people positively.|
Many residents of Oyo State have likened what the Senator Abiola Ajimobi-led government is doing in its urban renewal programme to a Copernican revolution. One cannot but catalogue the achievements in office of this jinx breaker (first Oyo State governor to get the second term consecutively) to as he celebrates his 67th birthday. (16th December 2016).
In the governance of a state known to have carved a niche in the art of governance, Ibadan, the capital has received unquantifiable face-lift in many areas. The Iwo Road axis, which had become a symbolism for the lethargy has received a great turn-around that pleasantly baffles visitors. Of significant mention is the Toll Gate area, hitherto a hub of miscreants and filth. Right now, these areas, especially the interchange, are so aesthetically appealing that many see them as a statement of the government’s knack for quality and good governance.
Molete under-bridge, Bode, Oja-Oba, Beere, Oje and Gate axis, as well as Challenge/Ring road axis are not left out in Ajimobi’s urban renewal efforts. The changes in these areas are so monumental that some Ibadan residents wonder why the governor embarks on so many projects at the same time.
Though the state civil service used to be a subject of the demagogic mantra of former governors, Ajimobi has surpassed any governor, dead or alive, in the training and re-training and welfare of civil servants. In the area of agriculture, Ajimobi recently launched AgricOyo. This is aimed at guaranteeing food security in the state through the expansion of agricultural services.
It is all-encompassing agricultural programme targeted at diversifying the economy of the state by urgently transforming the sector into a preferred and sustainable area of economic activity for the state. Before Ajimobi took over government five years ago, the education sector in the state was in shambles. But now education has taken an enviable position in Oyo State. It takes a courageous and patriotic governor to attempt a general overhaul like the Ajimobi-led administration did. Long before the 2015 election, a total of 5,300 teaching and non-teaching staff were recruited to address the rot in the education sector. He also embarked on Ibadan Technical University with the resolve to complete the project before the end of his administration. There are also his renovation of hospitals and several other infrastructural interventions that space constraints will not permit. Aside the Mokola flyover, the governor also embarked on aggressive road rehabilitation and dualization across the state. In all, Ajimobi has constructed over 250 roads and he is still doing more.
Recently, the state government embarked on dualisation/rehabilitation of roads in the state which include Saki Township road from Oke-Ogun Polytechnic to Ilesha Baruba for a contract period of 18 months. Similarly, the dualisation of Idi-Ape-Bashorun-Akobo-Odogbo Barrack, including an overhead bridge across Lagos-Ibadan Expressway was awarded for a contract period of 18 months.
The dualisation of Agodi-Gate-Old Ife road- Adegbayi Junction with limited rehabilitation of the spur to Alakia-Ibadan Airport was not left out in the quest of Ajimobi to make Ibadan metropolis a toast of other neighboring states. The dualisation is to last for a contract period of 18 months.
The expansion of Oke Adu, Agodi-Gate Idi-Ape-Iwo Road Interchange was also awarded by the state government for a contract period of 12 months.
In the area of environmental sanitation and beautification, Ajimobi’s touch in this sector is second to none. All places where dirt accumulated like natural habitats are gone.
He achieved this feat by keeping floods at bay. The governor attacked the drainage challenges with vigour in collaboration with the World Bank. Ibadan was a hotbed of violence and insecurity. Members of of the National Union of Road Transport Workers, NURTW, terrorised citizens, robbers prowled and the general sense was that of unfathomable devilry.
Ajimobi put an end to all that. With a special security task force code named Operation Burst, the state has been released from the vice grip of men of the underworld. Little wonder, many indigenes of Oyo State agree that Senator Abiola Ajimobi should be celebrated.
Let me end this piece with Ajimobi’s favourite words : “A leader will take his people to where they want to be, but a good leader will take his people to where they ought to be.”
- Gbade Ojo